Update

Just an update so all of you people know that we’ve not disappeared. Tierce is definitely worse; he has a huge bare spot on his head now. We’ve been in contact with both Shassi’s breeder and Tierce’s for advice. His breeder is going to call her vet (we’ve been going through a very interesting time with vets of late) for an appointment; we are probably looking at Demodectic Mange as a result of the rabies vaccination on July 7th. However, again due to the aforemention interesting experience at the vet’s, we have had no confirmation of that.

Okay, well… here goes. I was discussing the possibility with my mother and aunt of them taking Tierce into the vet’s about 10 days ago. I work all week, and it’s really hard to get any kind of vet on the weekends – they’re so booked up. My aunt asked me if I would like her to make a call. I said yes.

She called me several hours later to let me know that she had up and taken Tierce to the vet. This was the same vet who gave him the 3 year, sub-dermal shot on July 7th. I was not happy. Not only did she not bother to ask me if there was any information I could give her (such as I wanted a mite scrape done and that Tierce had stepped on some glass and torn a toe pad right off – yes, it’s been a wonderful last two weeks).

I was so not pleased. For those of you who are parents, imagine someone just randomly deciding to take your child to a walk-in clinic for a rash without bothering to check with you first – y’know, to see if the kid is allergic to something or just got the rash by something you already knew about.

The vet also had no idea why Tierce was limping and suggested that if it didn’t fix itself, that they bring him back for x-rays.

So, $85 later, I was given all the information that Shassi’s breeder had already given me and was no closer to an idea of why Tierce is trying to scratch his skin off. I also apparently have a vet who either can’t see an obvious wound or can’t be bothered to find it. Guess which way I’m voting. Not heading back to her again. The other vets who work there are competent, but are against feeding raw, etc. I don’t want to spend my time arguing with them.

To my aunt’s credit, she apologized. But we’re still trying to fix my poor little puppy and I can’t wait for an appointment at his breeder’s vet.

Real Sonofanitch

Tierce continues to be plagued with itchiness and an uncontrollable urge to claw himself to pieces. We’ve combatted this as best we can while we try some different remedies.

Tierce’s fashionable anti-scratch-until-you-hit-an-artery wear:


The T-shirt he’s wearing is there because he’s scratched his chest raw:

The first sign of problems – see the bare spots around the eyes and the goop in the right eye?


Then I noticed that the hair on his left ear was thinning…


The problem is that I don’t know what’s causing this. My aunt up and took him to the vet (I was not pleased, because she took him there without telling me and getting some VERY necessary information. However, she apologized, so I’m gonna let it go.) The vet found that he had a yeast infection, but that doesn’t tell us anything because anything from allergies to mites could cause it… in fact, she basically gave us the same advice as Tierce’s “grand-breeder” did – Nizoral anti-dandruff treatment (off-the-shelf, for-humans, anti-dandruff, anti-fungal shampoo). So, $85 later, we’re still no closer to a cure.

I am still strongly leaning towards Tierce’s 3 year rabies shot as a cause. He was scratching before, but it was only after the shot that he really started tearing at himself. Part of me hopes that it is and that we can cure it, because it still means that his immune system is genetically sound. If it turns out that he has allergies, he probably shouldn’t be bred, as allergies are a symptom of a fucked-up immune system. However, if his immune system is merely stressed, he could still be a candidate as a sire.

Part of me really hopes so, as he has an outstanding temperament, his hips and eyes should clear with no problems and his knees are stable, so far. If he passes his tests, he would be a dog that could add a lot to the Shiba breed IMO (although he’s only 16 months old, so too young to seriously think of that, yet). However, I would rather that he have a manageable allergy and not be bred than watch him go through this. I won’t have any part of breeding a dog that could continue a problem that Shibas are notorious for.

My trainer advised me to take Tierce off his kibble, even though we switched to GO! Natural Grain Free, and this is what I think I’m going to try. I’ve been having uncomfortable thoughts about feeding Tierce what basically consists of protein/meal replacement bars all his life, even if they claim to give him all his daily needs’ worth of nutrition. So, I’m going to try feeding him ‘real food’ and see where that takes us. I’m going to be doing a lot of research into the proper nutrition of real food, so I’ll probably be posting regular updates on that stuff here.

Kibble is a fairly recent invention and dogs have survived for thousands of years on non-manufactured food. However, I’m not a fan of just feeding Tierce whatever we’re eating and expecting him to do well on this. I think that this is a lot like veganism – wonderfully healthy when the right foods/supplements are eaten, but horribly unhealthy when approached carelessly. So we’ll see.

Itchery, part II

Tierce has been to the vet, who took samples diagnosed him with a mild yeast infection on his chest. Her advice was to shampoo him with Nizoral (anti-dandruff, anti-fungal shampoo) every other day. That, coupled with changing his food to Go! Natural Grain Free, might do the trick. In a few weeks.

Oh, yeah… while we were down at the beach the day before yesterday, Tierce stepped on a piece of glass and sliced a chunk off one of his toe pads. Now he’s hopping around like Pogo-dog (his hurt foot doesn’t stop him from running around) and still trying to scratch his eyes.

This has just been the best week ever.

Sonofanitch

Tierce has been scratching… Scratching… SCRATCHING! It started when the serious heat of summer began, so we were thinking that this has something to do with the heat.

We took him to the vet for his annual checkup and he got his rabies shots. The vet said that the scratching was probably an allergy or the heat and to add some fish oil and coat boosters to his food.

However, Tierce has started to scratch at his eyes! Some of the hair has been worn away… I’m hoping that this is a food allergy and a switch to GO! Grain Free will accomplish some improvement. I’m hoping that it’s not demodectic mange or some other real big nasty. However, only a trip back to the vet will tell for sure.

My trainer and Shassi’s breeder say it could be a reaction to the 3 yr rabies shot and to just wait for his immune system to get back up and running. I’m still worried about him. We’re going to try to get him in on Saturday, but it depends on whether I can get an appointment. Otherwise, I’ll probably have to take some time off of work to haul his furry ass into the office.

Wish us luck… 🙁